Culture of Fear

,    »  -   42 Comments
931
7.13
12345678910
Ratings: 7.13/10 from 23 users.

Culture of FearThe documentary details the epidemic of fear in our society, ranging from child predators to immigrants and from flu pandemic to terrorism. It features interviews with Dr. Noam Chomsky, a renowned linguist, human behaviorist, and political activist; US House Representative Dennis Kucinich, once US presidential candidate; and many other experts offering an in-depth exploration of the culture of fear. Culture of Fear is a term used by certain scholars, writers, journalists and politicians who believe that some in society incite fear in the general public to achieve political goals.

The term is used to describe fears about Islamic terrorism which, it is argued, are fears that are usually exaggerated or irrational in nature. The term has also been used to describe irrational fear in other contexts, such as citizens fearing persons of different ethnic backgrounds, or neighborhood residents fearing retribution if they assist police in identifying criminals.

  • john Palermo

    Good points and 100% agree just wish they would have been as statistically accurate and dismissive when referring to gun issues rather than leaving counter facts out for just this one topic as the other mentions were well covered with actual figures . The majority are in some false paradigm reality based on the flood of pointless concerns fed them 25/7. I can hardly engage anyone these days as the blank stare and confused discussion they return indicates just how off in some trance they are. Most adults today cant form original thoughts nor can they comprehend that they are anything but critical thinkers.
    What a mess..

  • http://www.facebook.com/lorenzo.greene2 Lorenzo Greene

    This doc is a lot of fun. I certainly do believe that fear is peddled by the media. I remember growing up with many of the irrational fears explained here. Fear makes a population easy to control. I'm definitely not a conspiracy theorist, but I do believe fear is a tool used to strip Americans of their sense of freedom.

  • wald0

    That was sort of a confusing way to put it man, are you saying that you wished they had of exposed the exaggerated statistics and liberal hype concerning gun violence? If so I don’t think you have a very good argument, let me explain why. 1- I don’t think one need exaggerate the problem in order to make a good case for sensible gun control. 2.-It doesn’t matter to me or most gun control advocates if there has been only one incident in the history of man that could have been avoided by sane gun control, it’s still the right thing to do. Now I am not advocating in any way getting rid of the second amendment or doing away with all guns, which is impossible any way. I am advocating sensible gun control, like getting rid of assault rifles and high capacity clips. The shooting that killed senator Gifford could have been avoided if not for the gun man having a thirty round clip to expire before reloading, at which point he was taken down by people with NO guns I might add. Look, I am a sensible guy that owns guns for hunting and self protection myself but, neither I nor anyone else in the general public have a real need for assault weapons, high capacity clips, armor piercing rounds, etc. It makes perfect sense to ban these items from public consumption for everyone’s safety in my opinion. And after the things I have witnessed first hand there is no doubt we have a gun violence issue in this country. I don’t care how many documentaries they make saying otherwise if you are smart you don’t walk around my old neighborhood in Chicago after dark, alone, un-affiliated- you will get shot/beat down. We had our living room in the back of the house, away from the street- because so many people in the neighborhood had been hit by stray rounds from drive by shootings and the like. Now I realize this is just an isolated neighborhood, not representative of America as a whole. I am from the rural south and live there now so I know a whole other world exists. But having lived in the other world for a while I also know this is a real problem that needs no exaggeration.

  • bohista1

    This documentary is well worth the watch. Everybody should watch it. It made me laugh out loud I don't know how many times when it showed just how ridiculous most of the "terrorism" fear is not warranted compared to what can really kill a person, i.e. smoking, junk food, car crashes, etc. I've never been one to be pulled in by the media with all their warnings, etc. but for those who are, they really should watch this doc. It's fantastic and really gets the point across but in a light, fun way. Watch it, you won't be sorry you did.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZMK6YNWJACHQ5CRCJW5TNYFURI KsDevil

    Are there people who spend their entire TV time glued to cable news channels? I wonder if perhaps the threat of the threat is exagerated. But I do agree people can be easily frightened by the threat of the suspecion of danger. But those people can also be relived of their fear by being offered the opportunity to question it.
    I enjoy a good paranoia from time to time, but realy don't have the energy or time to maintain that distraction...and I suspect neither do others.

  • ludelina

    I find very interesting to see that Americans keep forgetting that their country was formed by immigrants, and if immigration laws existed at that time, I bet that 90% of them would be illegal because most of them fled their original country to escape politics, religion, poverty and even criminal charges. More interesting is that they forget that the Americans practically exterminated the natives.
    Maybe they should have more history lessons at school and stop being a bunch of hypocrites!!!
    If the Americans generalize what type of person a Latin, a Muslim, an Asian is, then I can say that Americans are the most dumbest people I have ever met!!! 0 knowledge of world history, geography, languages, philosophy, etc.
    If any american is offended by my comment, then think about what the non-americans feel about your perspective of them...
    I don't want to offend anybody, just want to make my point that we cannot judge others by generalizing and believe on the stereotypes given by the media.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ElmoPutz David Foster

    Ya know what I learned over the course of my lifetime? It's that if my DOG don't think nothin' of it, then it probably ain't all that important!

    Just sayin'...

  • wald0

    And how would you know what my perspective is on non-americans? First off I don't even think of people as American or non-American, that's ridiculous. Secondly, I know as much about U.S. and world history as yourself (maybe more) and, so do many other Americans. And trust me all Americans know that our fore fathers slaughtered the natives when they came here, just like the Spanish slaughtered thousands in South, Central, and North America before we even got here. But hey if we are going to talk about two hundred year old crimes as if they belong to the current population, where do you live? I have yet to find a country that doesn't have a few skeletons in their closet so lets drag yours out in the light. You don't want to offend anybody? Well calling a whole nation of people "d*mb" is not only offensive, its small minded and prejudice- the very thing you are supposedly criticizing others for. Take your own advise and dont "judge others by generalizing" or believe in silly "stereo types" like the hypocritical, d*mb American that loves to shop. Yes they exist, but they are a far cry from representing the whole of our nation. If you are going to insult a whole nation of people though, don't try to weasel out at the end by saying you didn't mean to offend-have some ba11s about it.

  • Imightberiding

    Well at least I know that I am safe from all these worries so prevalent in the U.S. & on the news every day. I live in a relatively safe country (Canada) with strict gun control & very few violent criminal types, separated from the majority of the mainland population as I am on a fairly laid back island off the west coast... oh hang on a second, someone's at my door. Back in a minute...

  • ludelina

    That was exactly my point Waldo. People tend to tag certain groups, cultures, religions etc.I don't think all Americans are dumb, but it is how they are portrait outside the US. In this documentary, they showed a manifestation against illegal immigrants, and one of the camera man's was utterly insulted by just being Mexican.
    I lived in the USA for 6 months, and from all the people I met, didn't know where my country was located.
    Anyway, I very much enjoyed my stay there and met very interesting people.
    In the end, media does deceive reality and influences our "perspectives" of the world.
    I'm really sorry if you were offended, I was only giving my opinion of what I saw in this documentary.

  • wald0

    See, its statements like that which make the rest of the world think we are self centered id10ts. I realize you are joking but, we do have a serious issue in this country of people dismissing out of hand the rest of the worlds problems. Which wouldn't be such a big deal if it wasn't our life styles that cause the vast majority of those problems. Most of us watch this documentary and think that this is our problem, isolated within our country. The truth is that this environment of fear that is perpetuated daily here sets the stage for our government to commit all kinds of attrocties against sovereign nations. Iraq for instance would have never happened if not for the fear that ran rampant in this country after 9/11. So the citizens of Iraq payed dearly for our inability to seperate illogical, fearful reaction from foreign policy.

    The latino population is now suffering the same fearful reaction, just look at Arizona. Just as ludelina reminded us all, this nation was built on immigration. We are all, every last one of us, either immigrants or decendants of immigrants. Yet the conservative right has painted up this picture of "us and them", as if somehow we are more American than they are. In the beginning there where no real immigration laws, so saying we all came here the "right" way is ridiculous, our ancestors simply got on a boat and signed their name when they got here- generally speaking of course. What if then like now there had of been a thousand hoops to jump through and waiting line fifty miles long to get in, would our ancestors have waited in their misery to come legally or would they have done whatever it took to get thier children to safety and prosperity?

    I hope I have misread your comment and you simply meant to say you don't take all the fear mongering serious. If so I apologize. The reason I responded this way is because it sounded like you were dismissing the idea of American prejudice and fear along with its impact on the world at large.

  • wald0

    "I don't think all Americans are dumb, but it is how they are portrait outside the US. "

    See that is what I mean, everyone is guilty of this crime not just America. Just as many prejudice Americans joke that all Mexicans are lazy or all Jews greedy, many prejudice non-Americans joke that we are all st*pid and spend all our time and money at the mini-mall eveyday. Now we can say that we deserve this because we also generalize and are prejudice but, really its not a question of who deserves what. If somehow a miracle occurred and tommorrow all Americans woke up free of prejudice do you think it would change how others generalize about us, no. The truth is no culture is free from prejudice, unwarranted fear, greed, etc. including yours, these are human problems not American problems.

    That said- apology accepted, I try not to take these debates personal most of the time. Besides I think some of our issue has to do with your odd use of the english language. Don' get me wrong I am not trying to insult, at least you know our language somewhat- I don't speak anything but english. I am just saying english is a very subtle language, you can say one thing but the words you choose, your tone, the context of the conversation may say something totally different. I'm glad I just misunderstood you though, and welcome to TDF- this is the first time I have seen one of your posts. I hope you stay with us and continue to express yourself.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ElmoPutz David Foster

    "...many prejudice non-Americans joke that we ... spend all our time and money at the mini-mall..."

    I guess it doesn't help, then, that the majority of us actually do!

  • tariqxl

    only 15 mins through and it just seems like they are actually trying to deny bad things happen and fear is just an illusion.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Matt-Kukowski/100001515201862 Matt Kukowski

    Didnt you watch the documentary? Oh no you didnt as you stated... if you HAD watched this GREAT doc you would have learned near the end they mention the REAL threats... even at the beginning he mentioned car wrecks and sand pits and smoking as being 1000x more dangerous.

  • Axel Vanderoost

    No... Catholic Church is the biggest Crime Syndicate in Mankind History!

  • fdemunter

    I love America and the americans (i really do - i lived there for a while and i worked with them) , and this film proves the point everybody in Europe makes about them: they're innocent, harmless and blind stupidos.

  • fdemunter

    The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."
    - Edmund BURKE

  • tariqxl

    I stated only 15 mins through if you read my comment. Oh no you didn't see my sarcastic to which I know the answer worked as... I knew the answer.

  • pusspussbangbang0555

    lost the doc halfway through what is happenning? As soon as the Bin Laden section came up the doc stopped transmitting

  • Morten Andreassen

    after a quarter of an hour you still didn't get it....and you proudly post that fact

  • http://mamafanfan.typepad.com/blog/ Ah Wai

    i fear Obama

  • tariqxl

    I thought intelligent people come on this site but yet again I find myself having to explain the obvious. This documentary is nothing new to me, I studied psychology and philosophy and a particular interest is fear as an enforcer. I know how it is used and why it is so effective. All I said was, at fifteen minutes through, is that they try to make it sound as though the fear the media puts out is totally an illusion. Todays media, every person has noticed, pushes the fear factor. A murder hear, a kidnapping there. But what do you think they make it up and that these things don't happen? Half the reason why these stories are prevalent on the news is because people focus more on hard hitting news. If you think about all the good parts of human history and then consider the bad. The bad feels like it out-ways the good because feelings of disgust, anguish and fear grab our attention, its a survival mechanism.

    You shouldn't assume that someone doesn't understand something, and you shouldn't assume that you are either smarter or better than anyone. Its a delusion of grandeur and sets you up for a fall. And who mentioned pride, you should know all pride is false, a trick of the ego, so that pat on the back you gave yourself trying to look superior would be for nothing even if you were the superior.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ElmoPutz David Foster

    "Half the reason why these stories are prevalent on the news is because people focus more on hard hitting news."

    The other half is that Security is Big Business. And a frightened public is a friendly marketplace.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5K567ETWVQ23E5PYUARAJGXQVU Itolduso

    It's all about probability. The rest is just a distraction which one must see through.

  • mysteryman7

    The fearless person is truly one to be afraid of! I see the point of the doco, in that there are many policies and regulations that get put in place that limit freedoms that are guaranteed us. Fear is a powerful tool to implement policies ...which stems from the root word, Police, in which limits personal freedom. On the political aspect, all a person has to do in America is know and understand the Constitution. It has protection written right into it with solid reasoning for it, such as the Second Amendment and the threat of other ideologies that prevent Marxist from being elected. Unfortunately, many people that even take the oath to defend it with their life does not take the time to read and understand the content of it.

  • mysteryman7

    Why should open boarders and illegal immigrants be a concern? Unlike legal immigrants, illegals do not take any kind of oath to uphold the laws of the country. They come here without the understanding and as a matter of ignorance, they bring the ways that they are accustomed to from the country of their origin. People, at least in my neck of the woods are not afraid of immigrants. That is bogus. However, it is human nature to be suspicious of anyone new in your neighborhood. Some neighborhoods, at least in the places I have been, you do not want to walk through if you are a stranger to it. It does not matter what color you are or where you are from.

  • jankel

    god film

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Myra-McQueen/100000136123892 Myra McQueen

    This is true, and it is costing us money to be afraid of our imaginative enemies. Churches of this world teach us fear of the apocalyptic prophecies regarding the Catholics and Europe, and then we sent money to them to teach us more. The scientists teach us that we cannot trust such products as plastics, medicines, food additives, foreign cars, etc. Flushing commodes can lead to contaminating your toothbrush, and swimming in the ocean can lead to shark attacks. We are running out of food and WWIII is just around the corner. God is our enemy and the Devil is our friend according to Richard Dawkins. Hmmmm!

  • saint_elmo

    This country and our society is so ****** politically, religiously, and philosophically. The main cause is corporate profitability. Corporations control every aspect of our lives and they have lost any sense of ethical behavior. They buy and sell politicians,courts and the media. They're agenda is to keep us dumb and afraid of everything in order to control our behavior. How we vote,shop and worship. Why we put up with it is the best question. There are plenty of us that see the truth.

  • http://www.facebook.com/amber.jael90 Amber Hannold

    The only things you should be afraid of are what the scientists teach you. They're the only ones who have proof of the things we need to fear. Other than that, it's all a load of bs.

  • http://www.facebook.com/amber.jael90 Amber Hannold

    I really don't understand why you had to explain that you studied psychology and philosophy. I did as well and I can say that your "delusions of grandeur" are just as prevalent as anyone else's. You should've tried to major in English grammar, as you made far too many mistakes for any highly educated person to take your rant seriously. I will edit your paragraph as follows:

    "I thought intelligent people come on this site but yet again I find myself having to explain the obvious. (try 'I thought intelligent people VISITED this site ((,)) but) This documentary is nothing new to me, I studied psychology and philosophy and a particular interest is fear as an enforcer (A particular interest? Of psychology? It's more of a sociological perspective that resides in the logic of philosophy. Psychology means to explain it as a behavior, rather than an 'interest'). I know how it is used and why it is so effective. All I said was, at fifteen minutes through, is (leave out 'is') that they try to make it sound as though the fear the media puts out (try 'produces'. That sounds childish) is totally an illusion. Todays (today's...today owns the media) media, (as) every person has noticed, pushes the fear factor. A murder hear (HERE. Really?! That's like first grade!), a kidnapping there. But what do you think they make it up and that these things don't happen? (Leave out 'but' and the poorly executed, demeaning question, and just ask 'Do you really think the media makes these stories up?') Half the reason why these stories are prevalent on the news is because people focus more on hard hitting news (rather than hard-hitting as the correct spelling, try 'shocking' or even 'viscerally shocking' as that is what the news media is truly set to do, to invoke attention and awareness of issues). If you think about all the good parts of human history and then consider the bad. The bad ('consider the bad, the bad) feels like it out-ways (outweighs...WEIGHS! Way is a directional term) the good because feelings of disgust, anguish ('anguish ((,)) and') and fear grab our attention, its a survival mechanism. ('attention. It's')"

    (The "bad" outweighing the "good" has nothing to do with a survival mechanism. Fear alone does. The "bad" outweighing the "good" is produced by people who lack self-esteem and who are addicted to drama. Also, from a psychosocial perspective, disgust does register higher on the pain charts of the brain than good sensations. Things that shock and appall tend to remain more active in the brain for a longer time. Sadly most people have not caught on to the science of the Psychology of Happiness and its methods so that the focus of people's brains remains on happiness rather than fear, hatred, and the "bad".) Again, onto the editing:

    "You shouldn't assume that someone doesn't understand something, and you shouldn't assume that you are either smarter or better than anyone. Its a delusion of grandeur and sets you up for a fall (try 'failure'). And who mentioned pride, you should know all pride is false, a trick of the ego, so that pat on the back you gave yourself trying to look superior would be for nothing even if you were the superior."

    I just found that a little too logically lacking, being that your assumptions may very likely be false that the person suggesting pride gave themselves a pat on the back. Pride is actually very important in keeping the brain healthy. Pride devoids depression and anxiety in that a person maintains high levels of confidence and self-esteem. Too much pride is not necessarily a "good" thing, but understanding that pride doesn't exist is just like understanding that fear doesn't exist. Neither feeling truly "exist", but they occur in the psyche, and to a human mind, that makes it as real as their living body. I get where you were trying to go with this. I just want you to know that you should take more time with spelling, grammar, and the formation of thoughts in order to be taken more seriously. You claim to have studied psychology and philosophy, thus you should be a professional organizer of thoughts and words so that under logical analysis of your arguments and/or any symbols that you present to the subject, your statements could be found on a philosophical basis to be valid and correct. Good luck in your studies and career.

  • francisco sa

    Fear (not love) conquers all...

  • Jenna Cooper

    Good job generalizing Americans.

  • http://www.facebook.com/matije.udovicic Matije Udovicic

    looks like youtube censored it...

  • juancristobalflores

    what a coincidence election year and they remove this documentary,...

  • john Palermo

    I really don't get it? you have engaged me on the topic of gun control wherein you place me as an advocate for yet I myself do not actually state I am for nor against. As I said, with all do respect, most adults have no capacity for critical thought and as evidenced by your comment should not have capacity in their firearms either. Happy hunting ;-)

  • disqus_XBdYZeBGHf

    The premise of this documentary was great and much appreciated.

    However, I honestly got the point pretty quickly.

    The documentary could easily be compacted and edited to 20 minutes.

    I say this because I am afraid to spend more than 25 minutes, at a time, looking at my computer screen, which is constantly putting out radiation that could be damaging to my pre-frontal cortext.

  • Bunion1

    The premise of this documentary was great and much appreciated.

    However, I honestly got the point pretty quickly.

    The documentary could easily be compacted and edited to 20 minutes.

    I say this because I am afraid to spend more than 25 minutes, at a time,
    looking at my computer screen, which is constantly putting out radiation
    that could be damaging to my pre-frontal cortext.

  • DIMOJABE

    and John Stuart Mill, English philosopher.

  • DIMOJABE

    And the government is now (2013-14) spending $50 billion a year in our tax dollars on private sector outsourced spy support to monitor us.

    Check out: "Spooky Business" by Jeremy Ruskin, Essential Action 11/13. Very well documented. Leaves Cointelpro in the dust.